Broncos host Saints
October 28, 2012
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Sportsbook.ag NFL Sunday Night
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2-4) at DENVER BRONCOS (3-3)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Denver -6 & 55
Opening Line & Total: Broncos -6.5 & 54.5
The surging Saints aim for a third straight victory when they travel to the Rocky Mountains to take on Denver Sunday night.
A couple of future Hall of Famer quarterbacks, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, will get a chance to pick apart weak defenses in this one. The last time these two legendary QBs met was in Super Bowl XLIV won by the Saints. The Broncos have been an absurdly slow-starting team this year, only to be bailed out by Manning. The Saints, for all their issues, have performed well in their past two road games, missing a last-second field goal in a one-point loss at Green Bay, and holding on to beat Tampa last week. They've covered in three straight games despite the fact that their defense is allowing 30.3 PPG. Teams giving up 27 or more points per game are 70-36 ATS (66%) as road underdogs over the past five seasons. The Saints are 11-3 ATS after the first month of the year since the start of 2011, and they're 6-0 ATS in that same time frame against opponents that are averaging 24+ points per game.
New Orleans, which will be playing its first game under interim head coach Joe Vitt, leads the NFL in passing offense with 335 YPG. Brees has been outstanding in his past three games, completing 67% of his throws for 1,193 yards, 11 TD and 2 INT (115.2 rating). Five of those TD passes have gone to WR Marques Colston, who has 25 catches and 357 yards over this three-game span. Despite the efficiency through the air, the Saints rank last in the league in rushing offense (76 YPG). They have reached 90 rushing yards in a game just once all season, and have just 66 rushing YPG on 3.1 yards per carry in the past four contests. Although New Orleans' rushing defense has allowed the second-most rushing yards in the league (161 YPG), it has been much stronger during the three-game ATS win streak, holding opponents to 106 rushing YPG. The same can't be said for the passing defense though, having allowed the third-most yards in the NFL (305 YPG), including a whopping 348 passing YPG in the past three games. The Saints have done a great job protecting the football recently though, sporting a +4 turnover margin in the past four contests.
Manning ranks second in the NFL in passer rating (105.0), and has thrown 11 TD and just 1 INT during four straight 300-yard passing performances. He brought his team back from a 24-0 deficit in the last game in San Diego, throwing three second-half touchdown passes to three different players. The Broncos have outscored opponents by 73 points in the fourth quarter this season. Although the Broncos have the fourth-most passing yards in the NFL (291 YPG), the ground game has been held in check for the most part, averaging just 94 YPG (23rd in NFL). Top RB Willis McGahee has not gained 60 yards on the ground in three of his pat four games. Denver's defense has been pretty solid this year though, ranking 10th in the NFL by allowing just 331 total YPG. The Broncos have held four opponents to 90 rushing yards or less, and they were able to force more turnovers in the last game (six) than they had in the previous five contests (four).